BIRD GUIDING AROUND OSLO

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Marsh Tit !!

I wouldn’t normally employ the use of exclamation marks on conjunction with Marsh Tit but today warrants them – after 16 years of searching I saw one in Oslo! The species is a scarce resident in many parts of southern Norway and occurs in Akershus county within 10km of the centre of Oslo but for some reason appears to have no regular population in Oslo. There are 1 or 2 reports every year but I have not seen any that are documented and with the notorious difficulty of separating this species from the far commoner (in Norway at least) Willow Tit a number of the records will no doubt be misidentifications.

The bird I had today was at Østensjøvannet which accounts for more than half of the reports and historic records suggest that maybe the species has been resident in odd years but fails to establish itself permanently. Usually I identify Willow and Marsh tits by call without resorting to the small differences in plumage but today’s bird took a (surprisingly) long time to call and I had actually got around to identifying it on plumage in the meantime. The pale cutting edge to the upper mandible was visible on the back of the camera and the general warmer tones, lack of a wing panel and small black bib were enough to clinch it.

Østensjøvannet held very few waterbirds due to high water levels and a lack of aquatic vegetation this year but a single Shoveler was a good find.


I had started the day sea gazing at Hulvik where I hoped that Ophelia would resort in some seabirds but the winds didn’t quite make it so far north so there was nothing of any note to see on the sea.

Marsh Tit (løvmeis) - my first ever in Oslo 



the pale patch at the base of teh upper mandible is clearly visible in this picture

note how the bird appears to have a noticebale pale wing pannel in the left picture but not in the right

one of the pale 1st winter Herring Gulls  that we see in Oslo (and Bergen...) which often result in discussion as to whether there are some Glaucous Gull genes involved

this 1st winter Herring Gull has moulted a lot of mantle feathers but I'm not sure why some are so dark

Shoveler (skjeand)

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